Cloud Cooperative, an online cooperative society, is offering Nigerians, irrespective of their location, a flexible, secured and smart way to save their money and also access loans when needed.
With over 100 subscribers after its pre-launch in August, Cloud Cooperative is planning a proper launch on November 27 in Lagos and Oluwaseun Babalola Bamiro, its founder, has assured prospective members of the safety of their funds.
“We did a pre-launch in August and now we have over 100 people who have subscribed to be members of Cloud Cooperative and I tell you they are saving their money. They are proud of it. Some are still in doubt, but many are actually contributing and ready to support this idea,” Bamiro said.
Bamiro, who is also the CEO of YNorth, Nigeria’s largest indigenous fashion brand with over 60 outlets nationwide, and managing director, TheFastlane and Co, said the initiative to start Cloud Cooperative, which he described as the first online cooperative society in the world that has a database, came during the Covid-19 pandemic and it arose out of the need to create an online version of the mainstream cooperative.
Registered as Cloud Cooperative Multipurpose Society, the cooperative operates online at cloudcooperative.com.ng, where members can save for six months and get access to double up whatever they have saved as a loan. There are loans for agriculture, personal loans, business and emergency loans.
“If you just need quick sum of money to do something and you cannot get access to your bank, you can quickly get a loan from us as a member of Cloud Co-operative and we give it to you,” Bamiro said.
He said members can also have access to dividends at the end of the year during the organisation’s AGM. Right now, they can buy their data, pay cable TV, electricity bills, and everything on the cooperative’s mobile and web apps.
“To be a member of our cooperative, you have to save between N5,000 and N1 million monthly. You have to pick a particular plan. We have several plans: gold, silver, platinum, diamond. So a member must choose any of these plans,” he said.
Bamiro disclosed that people in other parts of the world can also be members of Cloud Cooperative as it has an app that allows members access to their account all over the world. That is what makes it unique.
“You can be in Canada, the US or anywhere else and still be a part of Cloud Cooperative. Also, you can have a virtual meeting with us from your house,” he said.
He said one other selling point of Cloud Cooperative is that it is run by individuals with business acumen, unlike in some cooperatives where people who don’t have enough experience about cooperatives head cooperatives.
“I have seen several cooperatives where they complain they don’t have funds because people are mismanaging cooperative funds. This is because the cooperative is not being handled by businessmen who understand how to turn around money,” Bamiro said.
“So we are bringing a team of experts who understand business, who can give us a 21-century co-operative society, not the ones that will use co-operative money to build houses. They will not refund because they have used the money to build houses and nobody is renting the houses,” he said.
He assured members of the safety of their money, saying the cooperative has a Board of Directors made up of experienced business people, CEOs, chairmen of several multinational companies, who understand money and how businesses can outlive their owners. He said these experts will ensure that members’ funds are secured, adding that Cloud Co-operative also has an insurance policy that helps to insure people’s funds.